Ireland itinerary - looking for feedback

Old May 11th, 2010, 01:19 PM
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Ireland itinerary - looking for feedback

I'm looking for feedback on our itinerary for Ireland in June...

Day 1
Arrive 11:10 AM
Drive to Cliffs of Moher / 3 hours at the Cliffs
Drive to Killarney (arrive around 7PM)
Stay in Killarney

Day 2
Spend morning in Killarney
Afternoon - drive to Dublin, stopping either at Rock of Cashel or Cahir Castle
Stay in Dublin

Day 3-4
Dublin

Day 5
Leave for home

So a few questions for those with experience... Should we stay in Killarney on day 2 and drive to Dublin on day 3? Which is better - the Rock of Cashel or Cahir Castle? (My mom is going, and she REALLY wants to see a "castle"!) Are we going to regret not going to Dingle? (I don't want to feel like we spent the entire trip in the car. We are flying back home out of Dublin, so we have to end up there.)

Thanks!!
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Old May 11th, 2010, 01:32 PM
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Arrive where?

Even if it is Shannon - your day 1 is impossible. You will be picking up a rental car and lucky to be on the road before 1 or 2 PM. Shannon to the Cliffs is more than an hour. The cliffs to Killarney is more that a 3 hour drive

And all of this is after a transatlantic flight? That is a crazy plan. Sorry -- but it is.

And Killarney to Dublin is about a 4.5-5 hour drive even w/o sightseeing stops.

I think you need to re-think your plans all around.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 01:47 PM
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Hmmm...Are you flying into Shannon? This seems like A LOT of driving for such a short trip and I like aggressive itineraries, but even this would be too much for me.

Is it possible to fly out of Shannon? Sounds like you have already purchased tickets. Dublin was our least favorite place of all the sites we visited...but "least favorite" is relative since we absolutely loved every single town we visited.

If you are committed to flying home from Dublin, then I almost feel like you are better off staying the 1st night in Doolin (near the Cliffs) and maybe the 2nd night at Dromoland Castle (hey, it's a castle and a nice one at that!) and then Dublin for 3 and 4.

To answer your question, we did both Rock of Cashel (a church, not a castle) and Cahir Castle. The Rock would be my preference, but they are very near each other so it's possible to do both.

And, yes, you will regret not going to Dingle I say that jokingly because we loved Dingle and "regret" every place we didn't get to see either - it is such a beautiful country!

I'm no expert so hopefully others will chime in with even better advice.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 02:00 PM
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I don't want to feel like we spent the entire trip in the car.

You will be spending the entire trip in the car if you try to cover the west and Dublin like this. First of all, where are you flying from? This is important because, as janisj mentioned, driving a long way while jet lagged is a BAD idea and dangerous for you and the other drivers. You will also, most likely, be driving on the opposite side of the road than you're used to. Keep drives on day one short - I think sessa's plan to just go to somewhere near the Cliffs is a good one. It's over an hour but not too much more.

When rethinking, keep in mind that you will be averaging about 35mph driving in Ireland. A good rule of thumb is to take driving times from viamichelin.com and add 50%. That worked out to be fairly accurate for me.

You basically have 3.5 days. Keep it to two places, and unless you can change your tickets, those two places almost have to be Dublin and somewhere fairly close to Shannon.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 02:10 PM
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Agree that Day 1 is a deathtrap. I would go with Sessa's recommendation to stay near Shannon, like Ennis or Doolin, and see the castles near there.

Then if you must get to Dublin, then you'd almost have to drive there on Day 3.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 03:27 PM
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I would go straight to Dingle, then Killarney, then Dublin. The cliffs are neat, but give me Dingle instead.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 04:15 PM
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And please clarify -- where ARE you landing? Is it Shannon or Dublin? We all assumed you meant Shannon simply because you want to go to the Cliffs right off.

If it is Dublin, your plan is even more difficult.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 06:22 PM
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Sorry - we would be flying into Shannon and we are coming from London. So I'm not worried about jet lag. I mapped this on Google maps, and it says it's about an hour to the Cliffs, 2 1/2 from there to Killarney and 3 1/2 from Killarney to Dublin... I know Google maps usually overestimates time in the States, but it sounds like this might not be the case in Ireland...?

I've also driven in Ireland before, so I'm familiar and comfortable with driving on the other side of the road. (I was in Cork when I went and didn't have any specific itinerary, so I just drove around the coast for the entire day.)

Thanks for your advice!
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Old May 11th, 2010, 06:46 PM
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OK - jetlag won't be an issue.

" I know Google maps usually overestimates time in the States, but it sounds like this might not be the case in Ireland...? "

Definitely not the case. You need to add 35%-50%+ to the drive times from any on-line calculator. The 35mph jent103 cites is a pretty good average. It will be even slower in some scenic/tourist areas. I'd stay the first night in/near Ennis.

2nd and 3rd nights somwewhere south like near Killarney

and your 4th night in Dublin.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 09:05 PM
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It's good that jet lag won't be a problem. Your first day is still a LOT of driving, though. I would either skip the Cliffs and head straight to somewhere in County Kerry, or make your trip just County Clare and Dublin. Trying to do all three in three and a half days is just too much, in my opinion. And I tend to pack a lot in.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 06:17 PM
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My advice would be to skip Killarney..forget the tourist garb you have been fed, tourist trap with no soul!! Head to Doolin and the cliffs.
Enjoy.
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